State Parks Hershey PA

5 State Parks Near Hershey PA: Keystone State’s Natural Wonders

Pennsylvania is home to numerous state parks, offering stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Near Hershey, PA, there are five state parks that provide visitors with lush trails, camping sites, and breathtaking scenery for an unforgettable outdoor retreat. These parks include beautiful nature preserves and recreational areas, perfect for those seeking to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

Key Takeaways:

  • State parks near Hershey, PA offer stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.
  • These parks provide visitors with lush trails, camping sites, and breathtaking scenery.
  • Visitors can connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors in these nature preserves and recreational areas.
  • Hershey, PA is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for unforgettable outdoor experiences.
  • Exploring these state parks near Hershey, PA allows visitors to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of Pennsylvania’s natural wonders.

Gifford Pinchot State Park

Gifford Pinchot State Park is a 2,338-acre park located in northern York County, between the towns of Rossville and Lewisberry. It offers visitors a variety of outdoor activities and stunning natural landscapes to explore.

Hiking Trails

The park is known for its extensive network of hiking trails, which provide breathtaking views of the surrounding wooded hillsides and scenic landscapes. Whether you’re a novice hiker or an experienced outdoors enthusiast, Gifford Pinchot State Park has trails suited for every skill level.

Some popular trails include:

  • Pinchot Trail: A 24-mile loop trail that takes hikers through diverse habitats and offers panoramic vistas of the park.
  • Susquehanna Water Trail: This trail is perfect for those looking to combine hiking and kayaking, as it follows the Susquehanna River for approximately 53 miles.

These trails are well-maintained and marked, ensuring a safe and enjoyable hiking experience for visitors.

Outdoor Activities

In addition to hiking, Gifford Pinchot State Park offers a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. The centerpiece of the park is the 340-acre Pinchot Lake, which serves as a prime attraction for boating, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Hershey PA outdoor activities

The park provides convenient boat launching areas and fishing opportunities for anglers, with a variety of fish species to catch. The calm waters of Pinchot Lake are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding, allowing visitors to relax and explore the scenic beauty of the park.

Facilities and Amenities

Gifford Pinchot State Park offers several facilities and amenities to enhance visitors’ outdoor experience. These include picnic areas, playgrounds, and a swimming beach where families can gather and enjoy quality time together.

“Gifford Pinchot State Park is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts in Hershey, PA. With its extensive hiking trails, scenic lake, and various recreational activities, it’s the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.”

Whether you’re seeking an active adventure or a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature, Gifford Pinchot State Park offers something for everyone.

Hershey Gardens: A Picturesque Picnic Spot in Hershey, PA

Nestled in the heart of Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hershey Gardens is a breathtaking botanical garden that beckons visitors with its vibrant blooms and serene ambiance. Spanning over 23 acres, these meticulously designed gardens offer a delightful escape into nature, making it the perfect spot for a memorable picnic with loved ones.

As you stroll through the gardens, you’ll be captivated by the diverse range of themed gardens that showcase the beauty of nature. From the enchanting Rose Garden, where fragrant blossoms create a romantic setting, to the whimsical Children’s Garden, where little ones can let their imaginations run wild, Hershey Gardens provides a picturesque backdrop for picnics and outdoor gatherings.

Imagine spreading out a cozy blanket on the lush green grass, surrounded by colorful flowers and verdant foliage. The gentle breeze carries the sweet scent of blooming flowers, creating a tranquil atmosphere for an idyllic picnic experience. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely lunch with family or a romantic outing with a loved one, Hershey Gardens offers the perfect setting to savor delicious food, share laughter, and build cherished memories.

I’ve always been enamored by the beauty of Hershey Gardens. The peaceful surroundings and stunning floral displays make it an exceptional place to unwind and enjoy a lovely picnic. It’s a hidden gem in Hershey, PA that shouldn’t be missed.

While picnicking, take a moment to appreciate the panoramic views of the gardens and the Hershey skyline. With its well-maintained paths and abundance of seating areas, Hershey Gardens ensures comfort and convenience for visitors seeking a tranquil outdoor escape.

To enhance your picnic experience, be sure to pack a variety of delectable treats and refreshing beverages. Delight in a spread of gourmet sandwiches, fresh fruits, and artisanal cheeses. Sip on chilled lemonade or indulge in a glass of sparkling wine as you bask in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

After your picnic, continue exploring the gardens by following the winding pathways that lead you to various attractions and points of interest. Discover the Butterfly House, where you can witness the graceful dance of colorful butterflies, or venture into the seasonal displays that showcase the changing beauty of nature throughout the year.

To commemorate your visit to Hershey Gardens, consider purchasing a souvenir from the gift shop, which offers an array of botanical-themed items, including books, home decor, and unique garden accessories.

Hershey Gardens

Immerse yourself in the tranquility and beauty of Hershey Gardens, where vibrant flora and lush greenery create a haven for picnickers seeking a serene escape. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a picnic lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Hershey Gardens is an idyllic destination that promises to leave a lasting impression.

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park is an animal park located adjacent to Hersheypark in Hershey, PA. The park is home to more than 200 animals representing over 75 species, including native North American species. Visitors can explore the various exhibits and learn about the diverse wildlife found in North America. From bald eagles to black bears, ZooAmerica offers a unique opportunity to observe and appreciate the beauty of local wildlife.

Animal Species Number of Animals
American Bison 12
Mountain Lion 8
Gray Wolf 6
River Otter 10
Bald Eagle 4
Black Bear 15

Hershey PA wildlife sightings

Hershey Recreation Center

In the heart of Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Hershey Recreation Center offers a perfect blend of outdoor activities and recreational facilities. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for fun family-friendly activities, this sports complex and playground has something for everyone.

The Hershey Recreation Center boasts a wide range of recreational areas, providing ample opportunities for outdoor fun. Sports lovers can enjoy playing on well-maintained sports fields, including soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and basketball courts. Whether you’re looking for a casual game with friends or a competitive match, the center’s facilities cater to athletes of all skill levels.

If you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, the center’s walking trails offer a serene escape into nature. Surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful scenery, these trails provide the perfect setting for exercise, relaxation, and communing with nature. Be sure to bring your walking shoes and discover the natural beauty that Hershey, PA has to offer.

For families with children, the Hershey Recreation Center features playgrounds where kids can climb, slide, and swing to their heart’s content. These safe and well-equipped play areas offer endless hours of entertainment for little ones, allowing them to burn off energy and make new friends in a fun and supervised environment.

Our family had a wonderful time at the Hershey Recreation Center. The kids loved the playground, and we enjoyed exploring the walking trails. It’s a fantastic place for outdoor activities and quality family time.

– Sarah Johnson, Hershey Resident

In addition to the recreational facilities, the Hershey Recreation Center offers amenities such as picnic areas and shelters, making it an ideal spot for picnicking with friends and loved ones. Enjoy a delicious meal surrounded by nature and create lasting memories in this picturesque setting.

Facilities Features
Sports Fields – Soccer fields
– Baseball diamonds
– Basketball courts
Walking Trails – Scenic pathways
– Lush greenery
– Nature exploration
Playgrounds – Climbing structures
– Slides
– Swings
Picnic Areas – Shelters
– Scenic picnic spots

Whether you’re a local looking for a nearby recreational area or a visitor seeking outdoor activities in Hershey, PA, the Hershey Recreation Center is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area, engage in active play, and create cherished memories in this vibrant community hub.

Bayside Pier At Hersheypark Boardwalk

The Bayside Pier at Hersheypark Boardwalk is a waterfront area within Hersheypark that offers an array of recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy the sandy beaches, relax by the water, or take a dip in the wave pool. The park also features camping sites where visitors can spend a night under the stars, making it an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts looking to have a memorable outdoor experience in Hershey, PA.

If you’re in search of a camping adventure near Hershey, PA, look no further than the Bayside Pier at Hersheypark Boardwalk! This waterfront area provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing camping trip with family and friends. Set up your tent and nestle amidst the stunning natural surroundings, allowing yourself to unwind and disconnect from the hectic pace of everyday life.

The Bayside Pier offers a range of amenities for campers, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay. You’ll find clean restrooms, convenient picnic areas, and access to water for swimming and other outdoor activities. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the outdoor experience, the camping sites at Bayside Pier are suitable for everyone.

Experience Nature at its Finest

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you explore the nearby trails and hiking paths. From leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes, there are options for every fitness level. Discover the native flora and fauna of the area, and keep an eye out for wildlife sightings along the way. The Bayside Pier offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the wonders of the great outdoors.

Unwind and Recharge

After a day of exploring and adventure, take a moment to relax by the water’s edge. Feel the gentle breeze, listen to the soothing sound of waves, and watch the sunset paint the sky with vibrant colors. The serene atmosphere of the Bayside Pier is perfect for unwinding and finding inner peace. It’s an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, offering a tranquil retreat for those seeking solace and rejuvenation.

Create Lasting Memories

Whether you’re roasting marshmallows over a campfire, sharing stories under the starlit sky, or simply enjoying quality time with loved ones, the Bayside Pier at Hersheypark Boardwalk is sure to create lasting memories. Capture the moments, bond with family and friends, and cherish the connection you build amidst the beauty of nature.

Other State Parks in Pennsylvania

In addition to the state parks near Hershey, PA, there are several other state parks in Pennsylvania that offer a wide range of outdoor activities and natural wonders. If you’re looking to explore more of the Keystone State’s beautiful nature preserves and enjoy exciting things to do in Hershey PA parks, consider visiting these notable parks:

Promised Land State Park

Promised Land State Park is located in Greentown, Pennsylvania, and covers over 3,000 acres of pristine wilderness. The park is known for its lush forests, sparkling lakes, and picturesque beauty. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and camping. With its tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking scenery, Promised Land State Park is a nature lover’s paradise.

Colton Point State Park

Located in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, Colton Point State Park offers stunning views of Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.” The park features rugged cliffs, dense forests, and numerous hiking trails that lead to breathtaking overlooks. Visitors can also indulge in birdwatching, camping, and picnicking while immersing themselves in the beauty of nature.

Hickory Run State Park

Hickory Run State Park, situated near the Pocono Mountains in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The park is home to the famous Boulder Field, a massive expanse of rocks that provides a unique hiking experience. Visitors can also explore scenic trails, cool off in the park’s swimming area, and enjoy the picturesque beauty of the park’s waterfalls. With its diverse recreational opportunities, Hickory Run State Park offers something for everyone.


What are the five state parks near Hershey, PA?

The five state parks near Hershey, PA are Gifford Pinchot State Park, Hershey Gardens, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Recreation Center, and Bayside Pier At Hersheypark Boardwalk.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy at Gifford Pinchot State Park?

Gifford Pinchot State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking on scenic trails and water activities such as boating, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding on Pinchot Lake.

Where can I enjoy a picnic in Hershey, PA?

Hershey Gardens provides a beautiful setting for picnics with its themed gardens and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy their picnic lunch surrounded by vibrant blooms and lush greenery.

What can I see at ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park?

At ZooAmerica, you can observe and learn about more than 200 animals representing over 75 species of native North American wildlife, including bald eagles, black bears, and more.

What recreational activities are available at the Hershey Recreation Center?

The Hershey Recreation Center offers a range of recreational activities for all ages, including sports fields, playgrounds, and walking trails, providing options for outdoor fun and recreation.

Is there camping available at Bayside Pier At Hersheypark Boardwalk?

Yes, Bayside Pier features camping sites where visitors can spend a night under the stars, making it an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts in Hershey, PA.

Are there other state parks near Hershey, PA?

Yes, in addition to the mentioned parks, there are several other state parks in Pennsylvania, including Promised Land State Park, Colton Point State Park, and Hickory Run State Park. These parks offer a range of outdoor activities, nature preserves, hiking trails, recreational areas, and picnic spots.

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